Community-managed energy service for vegetable market-chain (CEVeM)

Country: Nepal
Locations: Makwanpur and Dhading, Nepal
Date: April 2015-March 2017
Project Manager: Vishwa Amatya

In rural parts of Nepal, the lack of a reliable energy supply means many farmers have no access to the water necessary for growing vegetables in the dry season. With this two-year project funded by Wisions, we aim to increase production and quality of vegetables by demonstrating viability of an innovative business model. This model uses portfolio, impact investment and grants for community organisation-managed irrigation systems using Photovoltaic Pumping System (PVPS). We expected that the project will ensure a reliable supply of energy for irrigation which will in turn enable 150 households to increase production of  quality vegetable throughout the year. We have successfully collaborated on two pilot projects which demonstrated financial viability of cooperative managed irrigation system using PVPS.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To increase the access to a reliable energy supply for irrigation, enabling 150 households to increase their production of quality vegetables throughout the year
  • To develop an Energy Service Provider (ESP) to manage the irrigation systems
  • To use impact and portfolio investment to finance energy projects in rural areas
  • To disseminate the outcomes and lessons learned to practitioners and policy makers for up-scaling the technology and business model in other areas.

The project is being implemented in Makwanpur and Dhading in Nepal. Practical Action is leading the project to ensure timely and effective accomplishment of project activities. The project partners are SunFarmer, Sana Kisan Bikash Kendriya Sangh (SKBKS), Small Farmers Development Bank (SFDB) and local cooperatives. The local cooperatives are implementing and managing the project at field level. SunFarmer, a US based nonprofit organisation with an office in Nepal, provides impact, portfolio financing to the project. SKBKS coordinates and provides capacity building support to cooperatives and SFDB provides wholesale loan to cooperatives.

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